DUBAI: Former England women’s team skipper Charlotte Edwards has expressed her satisfaction and delight over the growth and development as well as incentives and opportunities offered to women’s cricket by the ICC since its merger with the International Women’s Cricket Council (IWCC) in 2005.
Edwards reflected candidly of her journey with women’s cricket tracing back to the early days when she had to purchase her England blazer nearly two decades ago to becoming a professional cricketer.
“In 1996, I made my debut against New Zealand as a 16-year-old girl. Back then, I purchased my own England blazer as the game was totally amateur,” said Edwards, who retired last month after representing England in 23 Tests, 191 ODIs and 95 T20Is.
“Two decades on, I leave a game unrecognizable to the one that I first played,” she added.
“The ICC has been at the forefront of many of the positive changes that have been made to the game, but the merge of the International Women’s Cricket Council with the ICC in 2005, would prove to be one of the most significant,” continued Edwards, who inspired England to ICC Women’s World Cup and ICC Women’s World Twenty20 triumphs in 2009.
“What I’m most proud of is where the women’s game currently sits. We have some wonderful role models and a game to be really proud of. Globally, players are inspiring many girls and women to pick up a bat and a ball and that makes me very proud.”
The 36-year-old has also shared her views on the impact of the ICC Women’s Championship on women’s cricket, involvement and contribution of Clare Connor as Chair of the ICC Women’s Committee, and national cricket federations’ patronage of women’s cricketers by offering them fulltime contracts.
Edwards made more international appearances than any other female cricketer in the history of the game, featuring in 23 Tests, 191 ODIs and 95 T20Is.
She has scored 1,676 Test runs, while with 5,992 ODI runs; she is currently the all-time leading ODI run-scorer in women’s cricket. She has also scored 2,605 T20I runs, which is more than any other men’s and women’s player in the shortest format of the game.